April 5, 2019

IP Expo Manchester, this year’s tech event, has just finished up in the heart of the city. There were panel talks, presentations and demos all showing off the best in technology and cyber security.

For a kick-off, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie gave the opening keynote speech on Wednesday, detailing how relevant regulation is in a rapidly developing technological world.

The Defence Work’s very own MD Eddie Whittingham also made an appearance, giving his insight on the ‘Future of Cyber Security’ panel. Subjects such as the more technical aspects of cyber defence, looking to the future, and of course security awareness training were all discussed among the varied panel of guests.

Whittingham commented;

“It was great to speaking on the panel with industry experts about what the future holds for cyber-security.  There were some great questions from the audience and it only went to highlight just how serious an issue cyber-crime is for SMEs in today’s marketplace.”

He shared the stage with numerous security specialists such as Anant Shrivastava, Adam Brady, Jennie Williams, and Dr Daniel Dresner from the University of Manchester.

During the panel, tech-expert Shrivastava commented that “Security often comes as an afterthought” and that “more collaboration is needed” between security firms to combat the threat posed by online criminals.

Jennie Williams, from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said that “people won’t stop becoming victims unless we educate them” and that “if anything, cybercrime is going to get worse”.

For the first time, the expo included a stage dedicated to “deep dive” technical demos, where live presentations were given.

One such talk was given by security specialist Jake Moore, who took the audience through a mock penetration test he performed on a Dorset police station. This involved hacking the police station to attempt to reach the intelligence unit, a feat which he achieves easily. Moore speaks about the ever-present threat of targeted phishing

“It is an art, it is easy to manipulate those influenced principles, and that’s what is used across the internet. Whether it’s urgency, social proof…all these techniques used to make [people] do what you want”.

He explains how these sorts of tests are important, and that they should be performed regularly to avoid sensitive data being compromised. The presentation comes with the helpful reminder that you should never attempt to hack into a police station from home. Perish the thought!

There were dozens of other stalls present at the event, all specialising in an area of IT.  Some were defence-oriented, others focused on software and server maintenance. Companies such as Darktrace, who specialise in high-grade A.I, also made an appearance to seek interested parties in their A.I programs. Safe to say all the angles were covered, to coin a phrase.

The event returns next year, in 2020.

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